Yesterday I completed the FAA's Basic and Advanced phases of WINGS . Each phase requires 3 Knowledge activities (i.e.webinars, on-line courses, classes, etc) and 3 Flight activities with a flight instructor.

The flight activities are based on the licenses and ratings you hold. So, if you hold an Instrument rating, one of your flight activities will be an IPC.

I want to give a "shout out" to this very good program that the FAA offers to us.

The key benefits of the WINGS program are that it is structured to make you a safer, more knowledgable and proficient pilot.

The side benefits of completing a phase of WINGS is it qualifies as a flight review, so my 24 month "clock" starts running again. Since one of my flight activities was an IPC, I can check that box also. And finally, when I called my insurance company yesterday to report my WINGS progress, I was rewarded with a 10% discount on my hull premium. They are sending me a check that reflects the amount of the discount.😊

The highest level in WINGS is the Master WINGS phase. I plan to work on that phase in the near future.

I highly recommend this fun and educational program.

Thanks, Bruce
1970 PA28R-200
Manakin Sabot, VA


  • Thanks Bruce! Your post is much appreciated. I'm hoping it inspires others to do the same thing.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • 10% cut in insurance costs would be nice.

    Then again, with a nameless "elected" governmental leader in power whom appears intent on destabilizing global markets merely for vanity, am personally not going to count on a notable net reduction in insurance. Last year I was told to expect at least 7% worth of insurance rate reductions, I met the milestones to qualify for those cuts, and only received just over 2% reduction thanks to one person's interesting perspective of reality. So it does go to prove a claim that one person can make a difference 😒

    At this point, insurance is a cost of doing business and it is going to remain costly for as long as this nameless leader wants to light fires.

    Going the Wings path is a means to help ensure I am able to fly another day 😊

  • i don’t think Vladimir Putin has that big an impact on airplane insurance rates - but maybe I am wrong.

  • I'm a huge believer in the FAA WINGS program. I have Basic, Advanced and Master levels. Some of the things I like about WINGS.

    1. It provides a nice "progressive" process to keep skills proficient and sharp.
    2. It "mixes" up things so you are always learning / doing something different. Much nicer than "ok its BFR time and lets go drill holes in the sky"
    3. The seminars allow me to meet new / different people and build relationships with other aviators.
    4. While my current insurance provider doesn't have any specific WINGS discounts, it does demonstrate that I am a lower risk since I actively participate.
    5. When flying non-pilots (friends of my kids, EAA Young Eagles, etc) being able to state that I have various levels of WINGS and what the program is, helps them have more confidence in me as an Aviator.

    When I get my CFI later this year, I plan to offer discounts on my rates for those that are: a) active in WINGS, b) want / need WINGS training....

    If you don't have a WINGS level, I challenge you to get one within the next 90 days. Your BFR will then be pushed out 24 months and you will have sharpened your skills!!

    As Aviators we need to always be learning and refining our skills. Ever Learning!

    What I learned getting my Seaplane rating has helped me as a land rated pilot as well.

    PS: Seaplane rating was the most fun I've had in years!!!! Best 3 to 4 days of training.

  • Digitalpilotnm,

    Congratulations on your achievements in the Wings program. Your assessment of the benefits of Wings training are spot on,

    I plan to begin the Master phase after Labor Day. Hopefully, that quest will be successful.

    Enjoy your summer of flying. 😎

    Thanks, Bruce
    1970 PA28R-200
    Manakin Sabot, VA

  • I am very excited to hear about everyone's participation in the WINGS program.

    I am the Tampa District 2022 FAASTeam Representative of the Year and a proud 1982 PA38 owner.

    The WINGS program is designed as an easy tool to not only review but to help improve your performance as a pilot. Earn 3 Knowledge Credits by taking courses online or attending WINGS seminars and/or webinars and 3 Flight Credits with your favorite CFI and renew your BFR for 24 months. Plus you can enter to WIN CASH and get a nice lapel pin to wear. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, some insurance companies do offer discounts for participation in the WINGS program. I know that I get a discount from my insurance carrier.

    A new process for WINGS Flight Activities was released at AirVenture last month. Go online to EZ-Wings.net and take a look. It looks like an app but it is a web page. So you have to bookmark the site as a favorite. This program is an easier way to either request WINGS credit from your CFI or for them to issue those credits. Makes the whole program more user friendly.

    If you plan on making a trip to west central Florida, be sure to check FAASAFETY.GOV for WINGS seminars while you are in our area. In the greater Tampa area, we work to provide a WINGS seminar practically very month.

    Again, congratulations on your accomplishments in the WINGS program.

    Mike Windom - 2022 FAASTeam Representative of the Year - Tampa District WingsPro - Wright Brothers Master Pilot

    Mike Windom

    2022 FAASTeam Representative of the Year - Tampa District


    Wright Brothers Master Pilot

  • Thanks so much for the info, mike!

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Thanks Mike for the information on ezwings.net. It does appear to simplify getting credit for Wings flight activities.

    Thanks, Bruce
    1970 PA28R-200
    Manakin Sabot, VA

  • Break it down for me Barney style. You say it extends the flight review 24months, but that’s exactly what a flight review does in the first place. Since I have to fly with a CFI for both, what am I really gaining other than contributing to the FAA bureaucracy?

    I’ve attended some Wings stuff and done a few online courses out of boredom but I saw very little value overall personally. Sure, I get the “license to learn” punchline every DPE has told me. But for me, there has to be tangible value, not just a gold star for participating.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • Tangible benefits:

    Learn a NEW skill, get Wings Credit, == Extend BFR date.

    Refine a set of existing set of skills, get wings credit == Extend BFR

    Add a certification (Commercial, Instrument, Multi, Sea Plane, etc). Get Wings Credit == Extend BFR

    Yes a check ride counts towards Wings and typically fills all the boxes.

    Get an endorsement (tailwheel, complex, high performance, etc) Get Wings Credit == Extend BFR

    Get Wings Credits, watch insurability potentially be better, lower cost.

    When you do a BFR you are only doing that Fly with CFI once every 2 years and run thru a basic set of skills checks (per the FAR's). Wings encourages more frequent skills checks and refinements.

    I've done BFR's were we didn't do short field landings or take offs. I've also had BFR's were we didn't work on precision landing (think commercial landing specs). So those skills got rusty. With WINGS, you can focus on less used skills, sharpen them up and get credit for it....

    Just my humble $0.02 worth of thought (not adjusted for inflation)

  • Unit74,

    When a phase (i.e. Basic, Advanced or Master) of Wings is completed, the 24 month Flight Review clock starts again.

    In my case, I did a normal Flight Review last October so my next FR was not due until 31 October 2023. I then completed two phases of Wings in June 2022, so now my next Flight Review is not due until 30 June 2024.

    In addition to making me a safer and more proficient pilot, the tangible benefit is a reduction in my hull insurance premiums and the prospect of accident forgiveness from the FAA in case I ever have one of those "oh s@#$" moments we all dread.


    Thanks, Bruce
    1970 PA28R-200
    Manakin Sabot, VA

  • Talk about stirring up a hornet’s nest.

    The Wings program is a pilot proficiency program. Yes, it offers bennies; lapel pins, chance to win cash, Flight Renewal on completion of a Wings Phase. But the real advantage of participating in the Wings program is - Wings is a continuing Proficiency Program lasting over a 12 month period. It is not a one time every 24 months find a friendly CFI for a quick lunch flight and sign off. Not that any Pilot or CFI would do that but we all know it happens.

    The statistics show that participation in the Wings program enhances safety. Does anyone think Aircraft Insurance companies would offer a discount to those Pilots that participate in Wings if the proof was not there.

    If a pilot is involved in an incident or accident, one of the first things the FAA investigator will ask the pilot is; Do you participate in the Wings program? If the answer is Yes, and that is true, there is a possibility that the FAA will handle the investigation in a different light.

    With a Pilot and CFI, who both believe in the program, Wings can be very useful in improving the pilots proficiency, confidence and safety.

    Try it. Get with your CFI and develop a plan. Talk through what you feel your weaknesses as a Pilot are. Is it Landings, Aircraft Control, Basic Control by use of the Instruments (think VFR into IMC and yes it can happen to anyone). Working with your CFI develop a plan that both of you feel meets your needs. Attend 3 Wings Safety seminars or webinars or complete FAASAFETY.GOV online courses, or a combination of those, and complete 3 Flight Activities specific to what you and your CFI feel are your weak points. You will become a better, safer, more confident and comfortable pilot by doing so. And, at some point, remember to turn off the autopilot. Hand flying is Fun, as long as you train for it. Who knows, “Otto” may decide to take a nap on a dark night with marginal visibility.

    Mike Windom

    2022 FAASTeam Representative of the Year - Tampa District


    Wright Brothers Master Pilot

  • @Unit74 From my perspective, you nailed it.

    Yes, this does appear to have a lot about bureaucracy. Definitely has good intentions and merits.

    From this perspective, the core benefit to the individual is an insurance discount (if any is given). Secondary benefit is that the material gives the pilot something to think about and adds to the tool-set for decision making.

    And back to that core benefit. From a monetary standpoint, we are lucky if it is a wash. Just like many of the other insurance discounts, we have to pay to get them. CFI time for WINGS costs money. Additional certificaions / ratings for discounts cost money. Increasing our time-in-type hours to get a discount costs money. Ok, so in reality, we are most likely paying more for the discount than what the discount gives back. But I'll still take it as this is ongoing feedback on my skills.

    Only real personal concern with the discussion so far is the use of a .NET URL (EZWings.net) for facilitating the WINGS program. To me, this indicates that a contractor is running the show and not the Government. Sure, the Government might have contracted for this service and actually setup the requirements, but the actual execution is highly likely behind a private firewall and not the Government. While the Government has a mixed review when it comes to protecting data, I have more faith in the Government path than putting data in corporate or private hands. Am not looking to stir emotions on the Big Brother aspect, and am just making an observation from a data handling perspective.

  • edited August 2022

    I get the proficiency aspect. I don't buy the insurance aspect at all. By the time I buy gas, MX and a CFI, I'm in the hole much farther than any discount a broker could offer. I'd venture to guess 1 hour of flight time would run $4-500 all in. That's almost 25% of my annual premium, for just one flight doing a WINGS whatever. I'm not a math major, but the cost/benefit analysis would stop me in my tracks if a discount was a "selling point".

    However, many people want or need a reason to fly and if this turns their prop, I get it from the motivational stand point. Like when I had an Archer, I'd fly just to fly. However, when I got a Lance, the costs were such that going and burning up and hours gas became a more serious event and thus, I don't fly just to fly anymore. I have to have an actual reason to fly it. Do I find reasons, sure. But I don't think Wings is enough for me to spend that kind of dough.

    The argument that the FSDO or NTSB will go easy on someone who does Wings stuff vs one who doesn't would be a due process and equal protection clause issue. You have to apply the rules and law based on the evidence presented. Looking the other way or going soft because the subject of the inquiry participates in Wings is a great way for a public servant to lose their job or be sanctioned. You cannot treat the same or similar violations differently, because the rules and law does not allow for it.

    I seriously doubt there is an FAA written policy endorsing this approach, and for good reason. If the Wings program was written as such that you get a freebie if you have passed a phase, it would have to be published. Perhaps a freebie on a ramp check or runway incursion might be enough motivation. But poking around, I see no such get out of jail free verbiage, again, for obvious reasons. And I doubt you will get ANY FAA employee to admit they do so as well. But does it happen? I suspect the answer is yes, but that conjecture at best.

    If it can be proven that the above opinion about freebies is in fact false, I promise to complete the first phase of Wings by the end of this year. Post up a link to the FARs, the CFR or other regulatory guidance discussing the rule. But I have serious doubts it can be done.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • I do at least one wings program every year and usually more. I do it to learn something and still get a normal flight review at the appropriate time.

    I used to get a discount on my insurance. As the markets hardened that went away, but my broker told me you are already getting all the discounts available. My price is still very reasonable.

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